Your gateway to Canada


Immigration Newsweek



Immigration Newsweek


By Atty. Henry Moyal



It’s becoming a broken record. It’s becoming so common that it is baffling why Filipino workers continue to fall prey to local recruiters and pay thousands of dollars for empty jobs.

It was not so long ago that the media and this writer wrote about the infamous $2 million scam run by Imelda Saluma and Go West International recruitment company.  Imelda “Mel” Fronda Saluma, 46, was arrested in Toronto, for numerous charges of fraud that police say netted more than $2.3 million dollars. One victim alone has gone on record claiming she gave Saluma $24,500. Fuelled by greed, police allege that Saluma scammed over 600 people by forging documents and making fake job offers so people would apply for visas to Canada. To no surprise, the applicants never received their visas. According to Detective Mendoza, “he didn’t know of anyone who was successfully issued a visa using the documents”.


Just when you thought people would be more cautious, again this week, another million dollar scam no doubt was revealed to have occurred by recruitment agency Liwayway “Lily” Miranda and her company A&L Hammer Workforce Management Inc. in the Toronto Star.


In the current case, Lily Miranda recruited Filipino workers to work at mushroom farms and in particular at Sharon Mushroom farm in Ontario. All workers were promised LMIA ( the labour marker opinion approval from Service Canada) but in fact no LMIA were received and no work permits were issued. There is currently litigation in court. The workers also paid lots of money for these promises but after working illegally for the farm they ended up with no LMIA, no work permit and no status.


From the reports in the media Sharon Mushroom and Lily Miranda are denying culpability and washing their hands of any wrongdoing. Oh really? Such a notion is laughable and hopefully the presiding judge sees it the same way.


Question 1: How on earth could Sharon Mushroom deny any wrong doing if it is clearly documented that the workers worked at the farm with only visitor visas. The farm cannot pass the buck to the agency. If a person is working at a company, the company is ultimately responsible for seeing that the worker has proper work authorization to work. To hire an illegal worker is  against the law. Reports indicate that the workers worked from April 2016 to January 2017 with no work permit. Wow! And for 8 months no one at the farm or management ever demanded to see a proper work permit? Seems fishy to me.


Question 2: Why would a visitor to Canada  pay any money to an agency who does not produce an LMIA? I can sincerely understand that there are many who are in Canada that want to work or those who were fired and looking for another employer but to pay the agency first is a mistake as there is no guarantee that an LMIA would even be processed.


As stated above, it is baffling that this continues to happen time and time again. While it is understandable that people want to work and make money it is imperative to keep the following in mind:



1.      It is illegal for an agency to collect payment for searching for a job. Do not pay any agency a penny. If a company or farm is desperate for workers to fill job shortages they can pay the agency themselves to search for suitable workers.

2.      If the agency makes an excuse that a payment is for processing of the government fee, then pay the government fee directly to immigration and only after you have verified that the LMIA is ready to be submitted.

3.      Do not start working until you have a work permit. Similarly, do not pay any fees until you see an approved LMIA.

4.      Although it is not recommended (and illegal), if you do work as a visitor on a promise that an LMIA “ is in process”, then:

-get a copy of the submitted LMIA and call Service Canada to verify

-if 3 months have passed with no result then become suspicious that something has gone wrong or refused. In the current case, workers were at the farm for 8 months. That is a red flag as no LMIA takes so long to process.

-make sure to get a copy of all advertisements presented in support of the LMIA, a copy of the LMIA application and proof that it was submitted……if any of these three are not provided you should be suspicious

       5. If you feel that you have been scammed or a victim of human trafficking contact an immigration lawyer immediately.





Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.

The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.

Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email  or call 416 733 3193